How to Select a Physical Therapy College near De Witt 72042
Earning a physical therapy degree near De Witt AR is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including De Witt AR hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other De Witt AR health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the De Witt AR area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s De Witt AR home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the De Witt AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several De Witt AR physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the De Witt AR area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with De Witt AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the De Witt medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their De Witt AR home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the De Witt AR area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near De Witt Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the De Witt AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
DeWitt is the second largest city in Arkansas County, Arkansas, United States, which also serves as the county seat of the southern district of Arkansas County. Population was 3,292 at the time of the 2010 census. DeWitt is perhaps most celebrated as the childhood home of Bobby Capps, keyboardist/vocalist for the southern rock band 38 Special.
DeWitt, platted in 1854., was named after the sixth governor of the state of New York, DeWitt Clinton. A post office has been in operation at DeWitt since 1856. DeWitt was incorporated in 1875.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 3,292 people residing in the city. 74.5% were White, 21.4% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 2.1% from some other race and 1.4% from two or more races. 3.2% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near De Witt AR
Choosing the right physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in De Witt AR.
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